CHEERLEADERS VIRTUAL EXERCISE CLASS
A FUTURE OF HOPE
On April 7, Eagles Cheerleaders hosted a virtual fitness class benefitting the Eagles Autism Foundation. In addition to general exercises, participants learned some of the signature dance moves.
In February of 2020, Jacqueline Venderhoof noticed that that her then-10-month-old daughter, Fiona, seemed to be shaking. Upon calling the pediatrician, she and her husband Ben took Fiona to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where she was diagnosed with epilepsy. Subsequent genetic testing provided an additional diagnosis, as doctors revealed that Fiona had Dup15q Syndrome, a condition characterized by an extra copy of a portion of her 15th chromosome. “Through that journey we learned that [condition] causes autism,” Jacqueline said. As she and Ben began researching Dup15q, they came across a research study being conducted at the University of Connecticut. Funded by a grant from the Eagles Autism Foundation, the study is attempting to identify the genes that contribute to autism caused by Dup15q, which could aid in the creation of future genetic medication. Learning of that research, Jacqueline said it gave her hope for the future, that there may be therapies available in Fiona’s lifetime that could lessen her symptoms, particularly the seizures. Afterwards, Jacqueline reached out to the Eagles Autism Foundation, wanting to be a part of the community and push for continued advocacy. “Whatever involvement we can have within the foundation to meet other families or to raise funds…to participate in any other events, we would love to do all of that”.
Designated in 2019 as a sensory-inclusive stadium by KultureCity, Lincoln Financial Field aims to accommodate guests of all abilities in a welcoming and nurturing environment. The state-of-the-art sensory room provides a quiet, safe space, staffed by a Board-Certified Behavioral Analyst. Sensory bags are also available at Guest Services.
2021 Eagles Autism Foundation eaglesautismfoundation.org
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